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Aryanism and Indology

Students will gain a historical overview of German Indology from its origins to the present. They will read basic source texts for German attitudes towards ancient and modern India, especially the Vedic period, Brahmanism, and Hinduism. They will learn how German nationalism, theories of racial supremacy, the quest for Aryan identity, and Protestantism and Lutheran anti-Semitism shaped the discipline of Indology. German Indology’s role in fostering National Socialism and the treatment of Jewish Indologists will also be discussed. Students will also be expected to read and analyze excerpts from Rammohan Roy, Dayanand Saraswati, Tilak, and Ambedkar in light of their knowledge of Indology.

Areas of Study: History and Methods

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study/ Must have completed Orientation to Hindu Studies or Concurrently enrolled in OTHS

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

Start Date: 12 July 2020

End Date: 20 September 2020

Day: Every Sunday

Time: 10 am – 1 pm EST

Quarter: Summer 2020

Depending on the area of study, the Certificate Program in Hindu Studies prepares a student to become a teacher, a public intellectual, a spokesperson, a writer, and an expert ambassador in the ‘public square’. Anyone including, already employed professionals or prospective degree
students may apply to the Certificate Program in Hindu Studies. This Certificate Program is open to all, and there are no prerequisites enforced, other than the consent of the Program Director.

The Certificate Program in Hindu Studies may be earned by taking 6 courses in an area of study, for a total of 18 Quarter Credit hours.

  • The Certificate Program in Hindu studies is targeted towards people who wish to develop deeper expertise in a specific area of Hindu thought, without pursuing a degree.
  • Students have significant flexibility in the pace at which they complete their course credits i.e., some may take one course per quarter over six quarters, while others may be able to complete the certificate in two quarters
  • Some certificate course credits may be transferable towards a Diploma or Degree program at a later stage
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As part of Hindu University of America’s commitment to ongoing community education, most courses available at the university including Graduate Division courses are open for registration from members of the community as continuing education students. Anyone including already employed professionals and prospective degree students may apply to any single course as a special student if they can demonstrate that they have the prerequisite preparation. They may discuss their preparedness to take any course with the course faculty or instructor.

  • The continuing education stream of courses is targeted towards people who wish to learn ongoingly, without pursuing a specific degree or certificate.
  • There are no prerequisites enforced, other than those required by the faculty, and anyone may register. We invite prospective students to try out a course or two and come back for more
  • Courses taken as part of community education can be bundled together to earn certificates at a later stage.
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Areas of Study: History and Methods

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

 

How Hindu Dharma Transformed America

Course content:

In rigorously exploring the history and influence of Hindu Dharma, the course will be organized mainly around the key disseminators who forged a vital connection between the ancient rishis and the modern West. First among those Vedic transmitters were the swamis, gurus, and yogacharyas who brought their gifts to the West, from the earliest (Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda) to those who established a foothold in the 1960s and 70s (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Srila Prabhupada, Swami Muktananda, and others) to those teaching today (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Mata Amritanandamayi, Sadhguru, etc.) – as well as luminaries who strongly impacted America without ever coming here (Sri Aurobindo, Ramana Maharshi, and others). We’ll examine both the diversity and commonalities of teachings that penetrated America’s spiritual soil, and show how the core principles were skillfully adapted to the language, values, and communication methods of the new cultural context—and the tradeoffs that were made in the process. The obstacles the ambassadors from India had to overcome—racism, religious bigotry, colonial assumptions, finances, etc.—will be discussed as well. Also covered will be the prominent Westerners who imbibed Vedic wisdom through gurus and/or texts, integrated what they learned into their personal lives and their areas of expertise, and ultimately disseminated what they valued most to vast numbers of people. This second-hand transmission was sometimes explicit and properly attributed, and at other times altered so much (in style if not substance) that the original source was either vague or entirely obscured. In that context, we’ll examine the contribution of philosophers and public intellectuals (from Emerson to Aldous Huxley to contemporary scholars); psychologists (William James, Carl Jung, Abraham Maslow); scientists (Nikola Tesla, Erwin Schrodinger); and artists, including novelists (Herman Hesse, J.D. Salinger), poets (W.B. Yeats, Allen Ginsberg), filmmakers (George Lucas), and musicians (the Beatles especially).  The course will also describe how Hindu Dharma has influenced certain Christian and Jewish leaders, leading to significant shifts in religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices. The course will conclude with a look at the future in light of recent phenomena such as the medical embrace of hatha yoga and meditation and the assimilation of Hindu citizens of Indian descent since 1965.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Understand the profound impact of Hindu Dharma on American institutions, culture, and spirituality.
  2. Appreciate the remarkable achievements made by gurus, swamis, and yogacharyas in the face of challenges, obstacles, and resistance.
  3. Identify and evaluate the subtle (sometimes hidden) ways that Vedic principles changed American psychology, medicine, the arts, and religion.
  4. Distinguish between skillful adaptation and misappropriation in the Western embrace of Hindu Dharma.
  5. Discover the enormous breadth, variety, and depth of the Dharmic teachings that came to America.
  6. Learn about American history from different angles.
  7. Contemplate the future of Hinduism in America and how to safeguard the integrity of the ongoing adaptation to Western culture.

Class Structure

The class will meet once a week for up to 90 minutes. The teacher’s presentation, with the help of audio and video recordings, will last approximately 60 minutes. The remaining time will be devoted to questions and open discussion. There will be 10 such sessions followed by an additional session devoted to the presentation and discussion of student’s reflections regarding what they learned from the course and how they expect it will influence their lives.

Required/Elective: Elective

Area of Study: History & Methods

Prerequisites: None

Faculty/InstructorPhilip Goldberg

Start Date: 12 January, 2021

End Date: 23 March 2021

Day: Every Tuesday

Time: 08:30 pm EST – 10:00 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Winter 2021

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Hindu Studies is normally a two-year full-time program of study which provides an in-depth understanding of Hindu principles, practices, traditions, values, diversity, history, philosophy, society, culture, and civilization. It prepares students for doctoral studies, or for vocations in teaching, education, chaplaincy and counseling, administration and leadership, non-profit management, priesthood, social work, fine arts, and the media. Students can access courses offered both by HUA as well as some select Affiliate Partner institutions.

  • Typically, 60 Quarter Credit hours, or 40 Semester Credit Hours are required to earn a Master’s Degree
  • To earn a Master’s Degree, students will have to take a set of 10 Program “Core Courses” which are required and an additional set of 10 Elective Courses.
  • Students are encouraged to specialize in an Area of Study by taking at least 6 courses from one area, to develop deep expertise.
  • Eligible students must have a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent 4-years of post-secondary education
  • Students may opt to write a mini-thesis to earn 6 Quarter Course Credits as part of their course work
  • Special students with prior experience in religious, social work, or community service, may be eligible to participate in a “Thesis Only” Master’s Program.
  • This “thesis-Only” option will require the student to write a Thesis over 18 months (or longer) and establish that they have the equivalency of 54 Quarter Credit Hours (i.e. 9 Quarter credit hours per Quarter over 6 Quarters).
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Anticolonialism and Postcolonialism

Anticolonialism and Postcolonialism

This course introduces the theories of various anticolonial and postcolonial writers in order to create a framework for a critical ...
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vedanta

The Foundation of Vedānta

Vedānta also known as the Upaniṣad, found at the end of all four Vedas, reveal the goal and purpose of ...
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vedas

An Overview of the Veda

The Vedas are the oldest body of sacred knowledge known to man. A bird’s eye view of the four Vedas, ...
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Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa

Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa

Vālmīki’s Rāmāyaṇa is a classic story of human self-development focused on the relationship between the macrocosm (the kingdom) and the ...
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The Mahābhārata I

The Mahābhārata I

Aimed at intermediate and advanced students, this course provides a comprehensive overview of Mahābhārata scholarship, including textual and historical issues ...
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Ādi Śaṅkara

Ādi Śaṅkara

Ādi Śaṅkarācārya, the author of numerous commentaries and pedagogical tracts, is the seminal philosopher in Hinduism, especially its “advaita vedānta” ...
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A man doing arti

Bhakti and Philosophy

In religious studies, bhakti is often described as devotion or intense feeling, and presented as “faith” in contrast to “reason.” ...
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Ancient Greek Philosophy

Ancient Greek Philosophy

What is the meaning of existence? What is the nature of truth? These were the questions asked by ancient Greek ...
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Historicism and Its Crisis

Historicism and Its Crisis

The intellectual movement known as historicism dominated the nineteenth century. At its simplest, it is the view that history is ...
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Textual Criticism

Textual Criticism

This course teaches the fundamentals of textual criticism. Alongside a historical survey of scribal and editorial practices, we shall explore ...
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The Humanities and the University - I

The Humanities and the University – I

Inspired by neo-humanism, the research university was to facilitate self-cultivation, aesthetic appreciation (especially through a knowledge of classical antiquity), and ...
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The Philosophy of History

The Philosophy of History

Building on “Historical Methods and Sources,” this course introduces students to the philosophy of history, i.e., the philosophical inquiry into ...
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Historical Methods and Sources

Historical Methods and Sources

As a mode of knowing, history has acquired unparalleled prestige. We now think that to know when, where and under ...
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The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment

The Age of Enlightenment or, simply, the Enlightenment extended from the late seventeenth to the eighteenth century. This epoch had ...
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Aryanism and Indology

Aryanism and Indology

The idea of an Aryan “master race” has an enduring hold on the racist imagination. But when and how did ...
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Critical Issues in Hindu Studies

Critical Issues in Hindu Studies

This course outlines the critical issues involved in the European understanding of Hindus and India, developed within the framework of ...
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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a foundational text for understanding the world of Yoga. Using this text, the course will ...
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Gandhian Philosophy

Gandhian Philosophy

To mainstream the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi towards developing a new and enabling perspective from Hindu philosophical tradition to make ...
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Hinduism & Peace

Hinduism & Peace

An exploration of Hindu thought, particularly those elements which are relevant from a conflict resolution perspective ...
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Introduction to Conflict and Peace Studies

Introduction to Conflict and Peace Studies

An overview of conflict resolution and peace studies with a focus on the major theories and their application to contemporary ...
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Symbol of OM

Orientation to Hindu Studies

An overview of the unique programs, areas of study and courses offered by Hindu University of America. Preliminary reflection on ...
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Race & Modern Hinduism

Course content: Readings in race theory from early theoreticians of race; the development of the “two stocks” theory of humankind by Friedrich Schlegel; its development and application in the “biracial theory” of India by his brother A. W. Schlegel; the anchoring of the “biracial theory” in Indian history by Schlegel’s student Christian Lassen through his researches into the Mahābhārata; the expansion of this concept to explain all aspects of Indian culture, including its aesthetics, religion, philosophy, worldview, and its textual productions; the application of this principle to separate, date, and refashion Indian texts; the racism espoused by German Indologists; the rise of Aryan ideology and its interaction with German anti-Semitism; the impact of Indologists’ racist theories on Indian intellectuals in the twentieth century; the turn to physical, sociological, and mechanical explanations of Indian texts.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course students will be able to:

  1. Learn about the theological roots of the concept of race.
  2. Trace how the concept was scientized, reified, and universalized.
  3. How the concept has shaped modern humanities.

Class Structure

The class will meet for three hours each week. Students will be required to summarize and present one reading and to write a final paper on the author of their chosen reading.

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study / Concurrently enrolled or completed Orientation to Hindu Studies. 

Faculty / InstructorDr. Joydeep Bagchee

Day: Sunday

Start Date: 17 January 2021

End Date: 28 March 2021

Quarter Offered: Winter 2021

Reconstructing Hindu History – The Commissions

Course Content:

Hindu History as it is reconstructed in school and college textbooks, suffers from both commissions and omissions. It presents the Hindu civilization as the illegitimate offspring of an “Aryan race” that came into India from somewhere outside, as it inter-mixed with the “native Dravidian” or Aboriginal population of India. This illegitimacy of the Hindu is a foundational presumption of most western scholarship on Hinduism. Hindus note with dismay the severe distortions, errors, misrepresentations, commissions, and omissions in the reconstructed History, which are nevertheless presented as uncontestable historical truth, certified by the western expert. More often than not, a Hindu cannot recognize their own civilization in the contemporary presentation of Hindu History. Before we embark on a positive reconstruction of Hindu history, it is necessary to confront the challenges posed by the already existing western reconstructions.

This 1-credit course will (a) expose the student to the problems and issues in the five major frameworks used by outsiders to reconstruct present-day narratives, (b) build the foundations used to challenge the existing narratives, and (c)  present an evidence-based alternative narrative for the deep history of Hindus. The course will be multi-disciplinary, and touch upon linguistics, astronomy, genetics, archeology, climate-records, and other related areas.

This course is for the person who wants a rational, logical understanding of ancient Hindu history, and wants to understand the evidence from multi-disciplinary fields. The pre-requisite for the course is a basic degree, in order to allow students to follow a college-level discourse. The background required to understand the various subject areas will be covered in the course itself.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course the student will be able to:

  1. Explore the problems in the frameworks used for the contentious narratives of Hindu history.
  2. Discover how linguistics, genetics, astronomy, climate-studies, geology, and other areas can be used to evaluate narratives on Hindu history.
  3. Evaluate the evidence from these fields that have a bearing on the narratives.
  4. Acquire critical evaluation skills to analyze alternative narratives.

The Instructor will provide a strong understanding of the evidence from these areas, and how that contributes to a strong, bold, inspiring, factual new narrative on the Hindu civilization.

Course Outline:

The course outline is as follows, where each topic is expected to run for 75 minutes. Each class will have about 50 minutes of instruction, followed by about 25 minutes of interaction, Q&A. The first 10 topics will be handled in the 1st term, where a strong foundation will be laid for the antiquity of Hindus. The remaining topics will be handled in the second term, where we will address the knowledge systems of the Hindus.

Class Structure:
The class is structured into supplement classroom instruction with discussions and self-study each week. While the content being discussed in each class will be concluded within 50 minutes, the discussion time will be free format and can continue for an additional 25 minutes maximum.  Quizzes will evaluate students’ understanding of the material.  Students will either write a final paper on a topic of their choice from within the course syllabus or take a final exam at the end of each term.

Faculty: Dr. Raj Vedam

Required/Elective: Elective

Program of Study: Community Education Program (CEP), Certificate Program in Hindu Studies (CPHS)

Area of Study: History & Methods

Prerequisites: None.

Start Date: TBD

End Date: TBD

Day: TBD

Time: TBD

Quarter Offered: TBD

Reconstructing Hindu History – The Omissions

Course Content:

Hindu History as it is reconstructed in school and college textbooks suffers from both commissions and omissions. The course will examine the glaring omissions i.e. the knowledge-systems of the ancient Indians, and their impact on the world in various periods of time and make a strong case for an ancient Hindu civilization that was knowledge-based. It will explore the ancient knowledge systems of the Hindus in such diverse fields as (a) Philosophy; (b) Medicine; (c) Math; (d) Astronomy; (e) Music; (f) Technology; (g) Arts; (h) Sciences; (i) Textiles; (j) Metallurgy; (k) Architecture and many others. It will also explore available evidence for the outflow of knowledge from India to the world, from ancient through current times.

Hindus note with dismay the significant omissions in their western-reconstructed History, which is nevertheless presented as uncontestable historical truth, certified by the western expert. More often than not, a Hindu cannot recognize their own civilization in the contemporary presentation of Hindu History. This 1-credit course will (a) expose the student to original sources and efforts to reconstruct a more authentic narrative about Hindu History; (b) build the foundations used to challenge the existing narratives, and (c)  present an evidence-based alternative narrative for the deep history of Hindus. The course will be multi-disciplinary and draw from various original sources and curated content from published research papers in various disciplines, as well as classic textbooks by various authors. Course handouts will include key papers and class notes.

This course is for the person who wants a rational, logical understanding of ancient Hindu history, and wants to understand the evidence from multi-disciplinary fields. The background required to understand the various subject areas will be covered in the course itself.

Course Learning Objectives:

In this course the student will be able to:

  1. Explore the approaches that can be used to construct an authentic historical narrative about the Hindus
  2. Discover and investigate both original sources as well as contemporary research into these sources, for building alternative narratives on Hindu history.
  3. Evaluate the evidence from these fields that have a bearing on these historical narratives.
  4. Acquire critical evaluation skills to analyze alternative narratives.
  5. Transform their knowledge and understanding of Hindu history and culture.

The Instructor will provide a strong understanding of the evidence from these areas, and how that contributes to a strong, bold, inspiring, factual new narrative on the Hindu civilization.

Course Outline:

The course outline is as follows, where each topic is expected to run for 75 minutes. Each class will have about 50 minutes of instruction, followed by about 25 minutes of interaction, Q&A. The first 10 topics will be handled in the 1st term, where a strong foundation will be laid for the antiquity of Hindus. The remaining topics will be handled in the second term, where we will address the knowledge systems of the Hindus.

Class Structure:
The class is structured into supplement classroom instruction with discussions and self-study each week. While the content being discussed in each class will be concluded within 50 minutes, the discussion time will be free format and can continue for an additional 25 minutes maximum.  Quizzes will evaluate students understanding of the material.  Students will either write a final paper on a topic of their choice from within the course syllabus or take a final exam at the end of each term.

Faculty: Dr. Raj Vedam

Required / Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission to Program of Study

Area of Study: History & Methods

Program of Study: Community Education Program (CEP), Certificate Program in Hindu Studies (CPHS)

Start Date: January 10th, 2021

End Date: March 23rd, 2021

Day: Every Sunday

Time: 08:00 pm EST – 09:30 pm EST

Quarter Offered: Winter 2021

Textual Criticism

Students will gain a grounded knowledge of textual criticism. They will learn basic concepts and terms used in textual criticism, along with the skills to read and use a critical edition. They will also learn how to edit texts themselves. The course will prepare students to critically analyze current editions, including editions or textual reconstructions applying the “text-historical method.”

Areas of Study: History and Methods

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

 

The Enlightenment

A key focus of this course is to examine the way the Enlightenment framed the relationship of religious authority to prejudice. Students will additionally learn how the Enlightenment set the terms of debate for issues that continue to affect the twenty-first century, including the conflict between tradition and modernity, science and faith, reason and revelation, the private and the public, and the religious and the secular spheres. They will learn to critically analyze these issues, provide historical context, and engage with contemporary political debates.

Areas of Study: History and Methods

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

 

The Humanities and the University – I

In this course, students will make the university itself—as a historical creation, a social body, and an institution—into an object of analysis. They will reflect on problems with the university, its relation to the wider public, and the dangers that concentration and specialization pose for learning. They will also gain critical insight into the university as an instrument of social segregation and control. Student projects can include: examining education access and outcomes for black vs. white students, graduate placement, and contemporary debates over affirmative action and discriminatory admission policies (e.g., at Harvard and other Ivy Leagues)

Area of Study: History and Methods

Required/ Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission into a Program of Study

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

 

The Humanities and the University – II

In this course, students will make the university itself—as a historical creation, a social body, and an institution—into an object of analysis. They will reflect on problems with the university, its relation to the wider public, and the dangers that concentration and specialization pose for learning. They will also gain critical insight into the university as an instrument of social segregation and control. Student projects can include: examining education access and outcomes for black vs. white students, graduate placement, and contemporary debates over affirmative action and discriminatory admission policies (e.g., at Harvard and other Ivy Leagues).  

Area of Study: History and Methods

Required/Elective: Elective

Prerequisites: Admission  into a Program of Study and completion of HAM 7401 – The Humanities and the University I

Instructor: Dr. Joydeep Bagchee

 

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